06 May The Power of Words
We are all aware of the power of words. There are numerous studies and articles on the effect words have on our mind, that in turn, affect our behavior. This is the reason pep talks before a game can bring the best out of players, why encouraging words to a child builds confidence, and how relationships can grow or end. There is no debate on that. In fact, the power of repetition is so important that the more you say something positive or negative, it sticks in your mind like a recording device. Therefore, repetition of positive verbal reinforcement is so often encouraged.
If you change your words you can change the world -is not just a cliché but the truth. Pessimism has invaded our society way before the pandemic. Discouragement has been a silent virus now for years. It’s not only constantly reported on the news, but also the topics of our movies, books and vocabulary. It has invaded our lives. Notice how negative phrases like “you’re bad”, “that’s dope”, or “you are a bad–s” are somehow redefined to apparently mean something good. People, young and old, take pictures on social media showing their middle finger. Foul language, even the shocking four-letter word is said casually in meetings and public speeches. They are all over teenage novels.
I was traveling for work last year and when the plane landed, I stood up waiting my turn to exit. I saw from a few rows away a young pretty woman with a gold chain that displayed what I thought was her name: Beatrice. As she came closer, to my shock, it was the “B” word. She wore it proudly because in her mind, she has been led to believe, that this label means she is a strong and ambitious woman.
This contagious negativity has created a world of depressed and angry people who have less restraints when they speak to each other, or even less, when they post comments on social media. It is difficult for parents to keep up with the media their children are exposed to. Movies are easier to choose based on their ratings as opposed to books which are more ambiguous to select.
Parents can’t keep up with what their children are reading and that is the vulnerable spot. Here is where anyone could reach out to your children to change their way of thinking and influence them emotionally, politically and spiritually. This agenda is not only present in teen’s books but now in young children’s books as well. Even biographies of great American personalities that we know and would like our children to read need to be reviewed beforehand. Read them page by page. Some have unchecked facts and rumors, negative comments about the faith or tabloid information about the characters alleged love affairs.
Remember how we were told not to judge a book by it’s cover? Unfortunately, the description on the jacket of the book does not always describe the adult themed sub-plots inside the book. Now, more than ever, it’s important to:
• Do research before purchasing a book.
• Check online for book reviews.
• Check Good News! Book Fair’s website and online store for uplifting, entertaining, clean reads.
• Read the book before you hand it to your child or read it together.
• Start a parent-child reading club to discuss books.
You may not be able to change the world by yourself but if everyone makes small changes in their families and communities, the positive ripple effect can transform the world into a kinder, more positive and hopeful place. As Saint Faustina, Polish mystic, would say: “Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions.” Start now and spread the Good News!